Onswipe, the New York tech startup whose mission is to make it “insanely easy for a publisher of any size to make their existing content a beautiful app-like experience in the browser”, is going from strength to strength. It has appointed a new CEO in the person of Jonty Kelt, erstwhile CEO at ecommerce firm Group Commerce. As any seasoned product manager can tell you, when a startup gets busy enough for its founder to seek another pair of hands to take over the CEO role, it’s hitting paydirt handsomely.
To the “next level”
Jason Baptiste, who co-founded Onswipe in 2012, decided the time had come for an extra pair of shoulders and relinquished the role he’d occupied since the startup’s launch to Mr. Kelp late last month. Baptiste will now concentrate on being the company’s first chief marketing officer, where he plans to focus his efforts on evangelizing the platform.
And in case any skeptical product managers reading this are wondering whether investors forced Baptiste out of the CEO role, he’s clear that it was entirely his idea. The position was confirmed by Kelt himself, who said it’s “always kind of a sensitive moment when the founder either is forced out or recognizes that they need some help — in this case, it was very much the latter.”
Baptiste says he was looking for someone who could just grow the business to “the next level”, especially since it began making serious money from ads early in 2013; Kelt fits the bill admirably. He can list quite a bit of ad experience on his resume, having been VP at the Google-owned ad tech firm DoubleClick
From click to swipe
For his part, Baptiste wants to concentrate on his strengths – “communications, design and marketing” – which he hardly had a moment to spare on during his tenure as CEO. Onswipe’s platform optimizes publishers’ websites for tablets and touch devices like smartphones and it lets them run mobile optimized ads to boot. With Kelt at the helm, Baptiste now intends, he says, “to make the world love Onswipe.”
As for that skeptical product manager, how’s this for a statistic: Onswipe now reaches 25 million unique visitors every month on iOS.
Having recently also appointed a new Chief Technology Officer, this young tech upstart is heading skywards with gusto.